New Web-Based Screen Capture Utility Now in Beta

October 27, 2008 by Victor · 3 Comments 

Here at ScreenCaptureNews, we like all things that are simple to use and don’t cost an arm and a leg. ScreenToaster is a completely free exciting new web-based Java applet similar to ScreenCast-O-Matic. You can read our full review of ScreenCast-O-Matic here. While ScreenCast-O-Matic was an easy applet to use, we did find some problems, notably the ultra-low capture rate (~2fps), that took away from the usefulness of this application.

ScreenToaster is basically an online applet that records your screen or an area of your screen and then instantly publishes the recording to the web in Flash YouTube-like format for you to share with your peers or co-workers. This can come in extremely useful in situations where you need to demonstrate to someone how to use a piece of software, create instructional videos, or upload a video of your screen for others to see for troubleshooting purposes.

While ScreenToaster is still in Beta, you will need an activation key to use it. The activation key can be requested by going to the registration page of the ScreenToaster website. Once you have registered your user account and logged in, ScreenToaster will bring you to your control panel. From here, you will need to press “Start Recording” to launch the recording proccess. You will also be prompted to install the ScreenToaster Java applet, which you must accept.

Once you have clicked on “Start Recording,” ScreenToaster will display a small info box which explains how the software works. It is rediculously easy to understand and use. First, you must bring forward the application which you would like to record. Then, pressing “ALT + S” begins a recording of your entire screen, whereas “ALT + SHIFT + S” allows you to select an area of your screen to record. Finally, once you are done recording, “ALT + S” must be pressed again in order to publish the video.

Once you have finished recording (after pressing ALT – S), you will be taken back to the ScreenToaster control panel where you’ll be able to see your recording.

Using the three options on the left side of the video preview, you can add subtitles, audio, or change the preview shot of the video.

You must now name and describe your video. When you are done, click on “Publish”

Unfortunately, we at ScreenCaptureNews were unable to publish any videos due to the fact that it gave us an error every time that we hit “Publish”. The developers of the software wrote to us and said that, because the software is still in beta, bugs do pop up from time to time.

What we saw in the preview, however, was fairly decent. The frame rate was pretty good and it even recorded a video off of YouTube at about 20fps, which is a ten-fold difference between ScreenCast-O-Matic. ScreenToaster was also exceptionally easy to use and overall is a promising web applet.

The developers of ScreenToaster claim that the application works with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. ScreenToaster will always be free and will most likely be ad-supported once it is released to the general public. Tentative release date, according to ScreenToaster staff, is “end of October”. We’ll keep you posted  with a full review once ScreenToaster is out of beta.


New Online Applet Lets Users Instantly Create Screencasts

September 30, 2008 by Victor · 1 Comment 

Want to capture your screen, create a video of it, post it online, share with your friends, but don’t want to download or buy any software? Want to do all of this with ease yet not pay a cent? Well, now there is a solution! It is called “Screencast-O-Matic” and lets you share and broadcast a recording of your screen for free. This solution is Java-based (requires Java 1.5 installed) and works flawlessly with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera on both Windows and Mac OS. Screencast-O-Matic is also supposed to work with Linux, but it seems like the developers are still working out the final kinks.

Screencast-O-Matic can post screen captures up to 15 minutes in length on their free hosting but it also lets you save the captures as .MOV QuickTime files so you can do whatever you want with your captured content.

Unfortunately, Screencast-O-Matic has some major limitations that make the applet unappealing to some. First of all, it can only capture a maximum resolution of 1024×768 and maintain a capture rate of only 2 frames per second. This is ok for text, but not good if you want to show videos or animations in your screencast. What’s more, Screencast-O-Matic does not have support for dual-monitor systems (it can only capture from your primary monitor). Click here for a sample screencast that we created with Screencast-O-Matic to see for yourself.

Using Screencast-O-Matic

Step 1: Visit and click on “Create”.


Step 2: You will be prompted to start the Java applet. Click on “Start” at the bottom of the page. A security verification might come up, which you must also allow in order for the applet to start.


Step 3: Once you have allowed the applet access to your computer, you will now see a configuration screen. Unfortunately, Screencast-O-Matic only supports resolutions up to 1024×768, so you must select that option for maximum quality. Screencast-O-Matic also lets you add voice to the video. Once you have configured the options, click on “Go!”


Step 4: At this point, you will see a black frame come up on your screen. It cannot be resized. Drag it over the area which you would like to capture and follow the instructions supplied by Screencast-O-Matic:

  1. Drag the black frame so it surrounds the area of the screen that you’d like to capture.
  2. If you are recording audio, make sure the mic level is ok by talking into your mic and watching the Mic level example image icon. You may also need to adjust the mic recording volume for your operating system. See examples for Windows XP and Mac OS X.
  3. Click the record button to start recording the part of your screen inside the black frame (and audio from the mic you chose).
  4. Click the close button when you are done (or if you need to pause click pause button).

If you are working on a dual-screen setup, Screencast-O-Matic won’t allow you to capture from your secondary screen.

Step 5: Once you have completed yor capture, you will be able to either upload the video right away or save it on your computer as an .MOV file. If you are uploading your screencast, Screencast-O-Matic will prompt you to register a username and passoword on their website. Screencast-O-Matic will then give you a URL for your upload.

Step 6: You’re done! Now you can share the link that was given to you previously and have people access your screencast. Here is a sample screen capture that we did in-house: